tips for traveling in china

China can be a daunting country to try and tackle for someone who has never been. It’s huge, has a plethora of things to offer, and can be an overwhelming cultural feat. Have no fears, these are a few tips for anyone needing some initial advice on traversing this impressive and majestic country.

Weather Wise…

Be smart! China’s climate varies. Don’t forget to think about what you will need to bring. Depending on where and when you want to go, you might need anything from shorts and a tank top to jeans and a thick jacket. Are you doing a bunch of mountain hiking where it can get really chilly? Or are you coming during the summer months when it’s blazing hot out and the tourists come in hoards? It might be smart to come during the off months for a bit of relief from the heat, and the crowds.

Getting Around…

Travel like a local. Not only is this option usually the cheapest, but it’s going to give you a better taste on the lifestyle here, and you could even make a local friend or two as you sit on the train. It’s OK if you’re totally unfamiliar with the train system, just ask the person next you. They are usually happy to help if they can. Taxis can also be a tricky thing to navigate through. Taxi drivers can be a bit of a pain to deal with and you could get easily tricked and cheated.

Some tips for taxis: Approach the taxi yourself, avoid the black taxis in the big cities, catch your taxi a few block away from the tourist destination, and make sure to snap a photo of the license plate right away if a problem arises.

Talk it Out…

This is a general tip for traveling anywhere really, and China is no different. Try to get a few basic words under your belt down. It not only will help you in getting what you want, but you may even get an extra discount if they see you trying to speak Chinese, at least you’ll get a smile. If you have certain dietary restrictions or needs, learning those words right away are essential. Most of all, it’s nice and polite to greet people in their language when traveling their country.

Eat it All…

When traveling, you must experience the food. Don’t you dare travel half across the world just to order a burger or some pasta. The steamed pork buns in Shanghai, the Guilin rice noodles, dumplings in Xi’an or the roasted duck in Beijing are just a taste of what you should order. Stroll around the markets and look out for the restaurants that are jammed packed with locals. Those are the places you want to eat at.

Plan a Bit…

While needing concrete plans isn’t always necessary while traveling, and in fact discouraged if you’re the spontaneous and adventurous type, planning just a tad bit in China would be a good idea. The reason you need to plan bit is because of the shear size of the country. There’s so much to see and do, you will need to focus your time on a certain few things. If you try to fit everything in, you will be left spending most of your time on transportation to get to the next spot. Getting something like China Tours for first time travellers would be a good idea to get your feet wet. Figure out what it is you want to do, find a cluster of things that interest you and spend your time in that area. If time is of no concern, then lucky you! Wander about at your own leisure and do what you want.

Image by Loïc Lagarde


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